Keke Rosberg in the Spyder NF11 at Road America in 1979.  Copyright Glenn Snyder 2009.  Used with permission.

Can-Am 1979

It was Jackie Ickx's turn in the Haas Racing Lola T333CS and again the title easily fell to the Chicago team. Keke Rosberg joined Elliot Forbes-Robinson in the revamped Spyders and took eight pole positions but poor reliability and several accidents meant he only won two races. Bobby Rahal had half a season in the revised Prophet and won at Laguna Seca and took pole at Trois-Rivières. The other race was won by Alan Jones at Mid-Ohio, standing in for Ickx in the Haas car. There was certainly no lack of world-class driving talent in Can-Am by 1979!

Al Holbert was driving the Hogan team's newly-constructed HR-001 but this was neither quite quick enough nor reliable enough. Geoff Lees took over the pair of VDS Lola T333s and a modified version of one of these was enough for three podium finishes.

The SCCA had a separate championship for 2-litre cars in 1979, the first time such a separation appears in official records; won by Tim Evans in his seven-year-old Lola T290.

The races

06 May 1979 > Road Atlanta

19 May 1979 > Charlotte Motor Speedway

03 Jun 1979 > Mosport Park

10 Jun 1979 > Mid-Ohio

08 Jul 1979 > Watkins Glen

22 Jul 1979 > Road America

19 Aug 1979 > Brainerd

02 Sep 1979 > Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières

14 Oct 1979 > Laguna Seca

28 Oct 1979 > Riverside

1979 Can-Am Championship table

1Jacky IckxLola T333CS51 pts5 wins
2Elliot Forbes-RobinsonSpyder NF-1145 pts1 win
3Geoff LeesLola32 pts 
4Keke RosbergSpyder NF-1129 pts2 wins
5Bobby RahalProphet25 pts1 win
6Alan JonesLola T333CS9 pts1 win
7Al HolbertHR-0019 pts 
8Vern SchuppanElfin6 pts 
9John MortonLola T3336 pts 
10Rocky MoranLola T333CS6 pts 

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Next: the 1980 season